Slovenia, Slovene Slovenija, officially Republic of Slovenia, republic (1995 est. pop. 2,052,000), 7,817 sq mi (20,246 sq km). It is bounded in the north by Austria, in the northeast by Hungary, in the southeast by Croatia, and in the west by Italy. It has a small strip of seacoast on the Adriatic. Ljubljana is the capital.
Slovenia occupies an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts. It is largely a mountainous republic and almost half of the land is forested, with hilly plains spread across the central and eastern regions. Mount Triglav, the highest peak, rises to 9,393 ft. (2,864 m).
Gifts for the children were not given at Christmas, but on St. Nicholas Day, December 6th. The night before this holiday the children placed empty plates or small baskets on the window sill so that St. Nicholas could fill them with fruits, gifts and candy as he passed by. There were times when a small willow whip was placed across the plate if the mother “told” St. Nicholas that the children needed a little correction.
Christmas Eve, the head of the family, with all other members behind him, saying the Rosary, bless every room in the house with holy water and incense. They also bless the barns, cattle and other livestock. In speaking of blessing the livestock, an old legend is that animals are known to talk on Christmas Eve, but only people pure of heart and soul were able to hear them.